Urbanist, architect, and professor Vishaan Chakrabarti talked in Urban Roots about preservation, his backstory, and his studio projects around the USA. Hosted by Vanessa M. Quirk, journalist, producer, and Deqah Hussein, historic preservationist and urban planner, in this episode, the founder of Practice for Architecture and Urbanism PAU discusses the seismic shift happening in preservation and planning: a move away from conserving historic buildings towards communities. The interview is part of a series of 15 episodes that deep dive into little-known stories from urban history to conceptualize what shaped our communities.
Community Rebuilding: The Latest Architecture and News
This article was originally published on Common Edge.
Of the four types of recovery facing American cities and towns—disaster, sprawl, disinvestment, and the recovery of community for those fleeing climate change—the recovery of places from serious disinvestment arguably gets the least amount of press today. But with reasonable effort, it’s the recovery type most likely to bear fruit. This is true for several reasons, beginning with the likelihood that many of the bones of sustainable placemaking are still in place. Newly built places, even if skillfully designed, often face the criticism of “lack of authenticity,” whereas places recovering from disinvestment abound with authentic scars from decades of distress. And places with humble origins were usually built in smaller increments than once-wealthy places, so the tighter rhythms of such places are inherently more interesting than those of grander scale early in recovery.
Still rebuilding after the catastrophic tsunami of 2011, Toyo Ito, Kazuyo Sejima, and other notable Japanese architects, have teamed up on the "Home for All" project to provide community-focused housing to disaster-stricken communities. While the architect-driven initiative seems to be a success, Edwin Heathcote of the Financial Times asks in this exquisitely well-written article: are a set of "starchitects" the right team for the job? (Spoiler: Yes)
In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, design charettes involving the Gulf coast community led to many proposals, ranging from the large-scale (establishing Gulfport as a major harbor city) to the more personal (bike paths). Eight years after the fact, many of these projects are still in progress, or have yet to begin - but the outlook remains bright. The Sun-Herald's Michael Newsom explores the background behind these efforts, and explains the hurdles they’ve faced along the way. Read the full piece here.